Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/21/time-stop-bankrolling-war-and-wealthy
One thing that we really need to understand as Progressives is that money is an anthropomorphic invention and a tool of power (in the Matrix of Reality in which we find ourselves) used by conservatives to control the masses. Let’s remember that it is created by fiat in an ever expanding manner. Cries of “we can’t afford this or that” are always used by the right to oppress and deny Progress to ensure cheap and scared labor. We Progressives need to focus more on Power and less on money if Progress is to be realized.
Another thing that we all must understand, is that as long as 95% of us continue to support either Republicans or Democrats every 2 to 4 years, we will always have inflated Military budgets, and War.
Coming at the same time as the announcement Jeff Bezos made $13 Billion - Billion - in one day - Monday - this reflection on moral compass and a just society - world - by the good Reverend Dr Liz is sooo very much needed - to change utterly our priorities and political systems - A new radical “Moral Policy Agenda”!
“Democracy” so-called - we are a “Republic” - is designed as practiced here to ensure the accumulation of vast wealth and power - a fascist dream - to corrupt representative government and wealth to evade all responsibility.
$13 Billion made in ONE fuckin day??? what is wrong with this picture…A theft from society only due to vulture capitalism - I will not ever agree this is ordinary profit, the Billions came from other people and society they are stolen!
How very nice for Jeff.
How many people still shop Amazon? Just that one change is too much for most people.
Since the author appeals to the Bible, it is worth citing what the Gospels and the early church fathers had to say.
Gospel of Matthew: “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
“They shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and eat fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat.” — Isaiah 65:21
“Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.” - Acts 4: 32-36
“The use of all things that are found in this world ought to be common to all men. Only the most manifest iniquity makes one say to the other, ‘This belongs to me, that to you’. Hence the origin of contention among men.” – St. Clement.
“What thing do you call ‘yours’? What thing are you able to say is yours? From whom have you received it? You speak and act like one who upon an occasion going early to the theatre, and possessing himself without obstacle of the seats destined for the remainder of the public, pretends to oppose their entrance in due time, and to prohibit them seating themselves, arrogating to his own sole use property that is really destined to common use. And it is precisely in this manner act the rich”. – St. Basil the Great.
“Therefore if one wishes to make himself the master of every wealth, to possess it and to exclude his brothers even to the third or fourth part (generation), such a wretch is no more a brother but an inhuman tyrant, a cruel barbarian, or rather a ferocious beast of which the mouth is always open to devour for his personal use the food of the other companions.” – St. Gregory. Nic.
“Nature furnishes its wealth to all men in common. God beneficently has created all things that their enjoyment be common to all living beings, and that the earth become the common possession of all. It is Nature itself that has given birth to the right of the community, whilst it is only unjust usurpation that has created the right of private poverty.” – St. Ambrose.
“The earth of which they are born is common to all, and therefore the fruit that the earth brings forth belongs without distinction to all”– St. Gregory the Great.
“The rich man is a thief”. – St. Chrysostom.
I haven’t shopped on Amazon in quite awhile and encourage my family to do the same. I don’t shop at Walmart, either. Try to shop local, even when it costs a little more.
War keeps getting bankrolled because that is simply what the US economy does. No one is responsible except the functionaries who keep the economy headed in the direction of war. If was is the telos of the system, then the system keeps generating war.
Wouldn’t it be grand if “we” could just clap and rub our hands together and declare, “Okay, it’s time to stop bankrolling war!” … and wouldn’t it be grand if the politicians and corporate executives who run the wars just stopped what they were doing? If all the wars just stopped on demand?
After all, an end to war is something the public has been demanding for eons… yet the wars continue because war is the telos of non-indigenous society. War is the telos of Abrahamic culture.
Exceptionalism dies hard as aspirational self-fulfilling prophecy. Whether pacifistic or militaristic. The human condition is what it is. We’ve learned all life that remains animated is evolving all the time. So, this article drawn from archeological evidence of Pre-Columbian and Doctrine of Discovery Canada is certainly not meant to suggest that the same proportions of war to peace or peace to war are ever locked into stone, except as fossilized relics of past times. Evidence doesn’t suggest human civilization, such as it is, need be locked into any pre-ordained destiny. Self-fulfilling prophecy was never the intent in the original scriptural language, compact though its vocabulary was.
The notion of prophecy in Hebraic scriptural tradition is not of predictive intent, but prescriptive intent. In other words the Hebrew Prophets were animated within mytho-poetics to deliver cautionary messages, not for investors to hedge their bets on the next Barbarian Invasions…
Rev. Dr. Theoharis understands and expresses this aspect of the Old Testes quite well, accentuating the accents on how we (humanity) are to organize our societies around meeting the needs of those MOST IN NEED and lifting from the bottom upward.
Compare that with the 1980’s and 90’s from the Jimmy Carter years onward through the House of Reagan, House of Bush, House of Clinton and House of Obama-Biden the continuity as party-in-power ping-pongs back and forth is striking. That continuum of bi-partisan socio-economic SHRINK BIG GOVERNMENT rhetoric and de-institutionalization of those unable to keep themselves housed and on meds with no funding for community treatment much less group homes by the same privatization craze sweeping the entire Public Sector, including the Security State. Meanwhile those administrations with bi-partisan chamber majority\minority support kept fueling the largest expansion of the National Debt in recorded history trying to bankrupt the already bankrupt and bogged down Evil Empire of the Soviet Union (while Washington was coordinating the Global Jihad against the developed world) in the opium haze of Afghanistan and causing record rates of unemployment even before the advent of the Gig E-CONomy
With its part-timing of jobs, outsourcing and de-professionalization along with Work-At-Will de facto state minimum wages, currently $7.25 nationally where we are at a 50 year anniversary of the onset of Wage Stag-Nation and Food Stamp Working Poor Nation. Even in states with amazing school systems like Pennsylvania filling the hole after a century of sacrificial labor gains were systematically dis-assembled under the Neo-Liberal E-CON doctrinal PR of SUPPLY SIDE\TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. Y’know cutting taxes on those who’ve off-shored their wealth, personal and corporate while cutting what few social safety nets we’ve built while paying for the rebuilding of all sides of WW II the Imperial Ruin Nation Follies, all of which states chose to use the Truman Marshall Plan funds from Washington to build Social Democrat nation-states with nationalized health care, public housing with maintenance that was the envy of private sector urban housing, Public Interest broadcasting with advertisers on the commercial end of the spectrum paying for a parallel system free from Corporate Caliphate endowment funding, so in fact, truly independent and educational.
The trickle in our TRICKLE DOWN is the waste water running down the crisply pleated pin-striped legs at urinals of MAD MEN and the CORPORATE CALIPHATE in their security state Executive Suite protected rest rooms and gated communities. We’re kept abreast of STREET CRIME via the public airwaves, rarely are we informed about the decades long impunity of SUITE CRIME.
Not much memory at the Carter Center of born-again bible loving Nobel Peace Prize winning and convening Sunday School teaching Jimmy’s views on the fate of coal miners, who after all in his down-homey drawl, “knew the kinda line of work they were gettin’ into” and so deserved their black lung fate. Rev. Dr Liz Theoharis knows her bible. Check out the audio archive of Jimmy Carter’s cabinet kicking off the Neo-Liberal E-CON con of a Neo-Liberal\Neo-Conservative Daddy Warbucks Revolution that Was Not Televised after Nixon shrewdly seeded the Supreme Court with Lewis Powell (author of the little-known yet momentous Memo to the National Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Corporate Caliphate seen by Powell as losing the 1960’s economy booming Vietnam War escalation and chemical decimation to the ka-ching of Dow Chemical investors as the uses of Agent Orange sky-rocketed along with the stock market valuations).
Nixon and his about to be overthrown Paleo-Cons also took the solid forward-looking executive PR route of creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA that could also be an abbreviation for its intent on the part of the legally sharp Nixon of Enviro Polluters Permitting Agency) as it instituted the permitting of the impermissible in the form of limited liability to corporations doing the industrial scale polluting of water sheds. While never having to factor into their start-up bid-net plans the cost of clean up. Off the books and investors off the hook as what’s known in Business Admin courses as “External costs, risks” or dba “Externalities.” The Public pays and remains on the hook through the decades of even beginning SUPERFUND SITE clean-up, not to mention the cancer clusters or like Hinkley, California the entire relocation of a So Cal ag town due to the community’s irredeemably toxified water table thanks to the Privatized Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) LLC without ever being cut in on the polluter’s decades of profits.
Here is the Neo-Liberal E-CON CON play-book recalled, including Sunday School teacher Jimmy’s prudently low-profile views on the rights of workers and labor orgs to hold investors and owners responsible for the human toll of their profits. Especially since it and the set of doctrines known but not analyzed or allowed to be reported daily like Sports Score Boards or studied in systematic Cost\Benefit formats on broadcast TV in the U.S. Neo-Liberal E-CON policy outcomes like Privatization of on Public Health or the Carter era deregulation of the airline industry and Reagan-Bush 12 year stretch of burying Public Safety Unions like the PATCO Air Traffic Controllers union is now taboo as a subject on the public’s air waves where every week is THIS WEEK ON WALL STREET or PLANET MONEY or MARKETPLACE or BUSINESS INSIDER or BLOOMBERG BILLIONAIRE BID-NET NEWS or FREAKANOMICS or FORBES yet where never are the perspectives from WAGE SLAVE WEEK or PLANET OF THE CLOCK PUNCHERS scheduled for regular national broadcast and coverage…WBUR in Boston did get to air this post-mortum on the varieties of Neo-Liberal E-CON cons and policy outcomes of privatization of the national resources here, locally, one time. Blessings to find the animated and good-humored if barbed audio archived at a college radio station.
Our Presidents and their employers, the Feudal Lords of Commodification\HI FInance\Housing\Industry\Life Sciences\Tech\Telecomm\Transport and most important of all to their class interests the Feudal Lords of Wealth Management and letting your wealth work for you are coming from an entirely different playbook than the enduring scriptures.
Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
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Our nation from its inception has been about money controlling power. One cannot separate the two. But, I will give you this: the masses can rise up and consolidate our numbers to take away power from the wealthy (money). If only we would.
Shopping Amazon not only makes Bezos wealthier, it destroys the fabric of America which used to be mom/pop stores. The likes of Bezos and others like him and large corporations have done what Kruschev said he would do to America while pounding on the speakers’ platform in the United Nations so many years ago; “We will bury you”!
I will add this:
“We are all divined with an innate goodness toward all things. It is with great distress and knowledge thereof that any man goes against this divine goodness” Skip Edwards